D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Some D'Iberville students are speaking up for victims of bullying. They recently created an anti-bullying campaign after a disturbing video of an attack on a school bus prompted them to take a stand.
The video of a St. Martin High student being sucker punched on a school bus this past August struck a nerve with a group of young ladies.
"I was shocked, because I was thinking like, 'How could you do that to someone that's just sitting by themselves?'" asked Mena Landry.
"You're watching it. You're videoing and no one said anything, and that's so terrible," said Mary Kaitlyn Jones.
Mary Kaitlyn and Mena are ninth graders at D'Iberville High School. They wanted to give a voice to those who are too afraid to speak up for themselves. So, they created a campaign called "The Cloud Effect."
"It means to lift spirits up, to lift kids up who are down and are thinking they are worthless, but they're really not," said Mena.
The students set up a Facebook page to give their peers a forum to express their feelings. In less than a month, nearly 1,500 members have joined the movement.
"We post inspirational quotes. People can tell their story in a way that they are comfortable with and if people post any negative comments, it's deleted and they are removed as members," Mary Kaitlyn explained.
The friends speak from experience. Bullies have targeted them in the past. Mena has a condition called Vitiligo, in which her skin loses pigmentation.
"It's like all over my legs and my abdomen. When I was in elementary school, kids told me I looked like a cow or I looked like a certain animal," said Mena.
And when she was three years old, Mary Kaitlyn lost all five toes on her right foot in a four-wheeler accident.
"I just laugh about it, because I can't help anything and I want to tell other people that it's OK to be how you are. You're perfect, you're unique, and you're beautiful," said Mary Kaitlyn.
The students are reaching out to give victims support, hope, and the courage to break the silence. The group is also giving away t-shirts, wristbands and car decals to boost membership and raise awareness about "The Cloud Effect".